Since 'four seasons in one day' is a description often applied to the British weather, these Michelin Power All Season Road tyres should be right at home among UK riders. After a typical English June, I am pleased to confirm that the performance is every bit as reliable as Michelin claims.
The All Season is one of three tyres in the Michelin Power range, each promising better performance with less drag than its predecessors, the Pro4 series. In the case of the All Season, it's grip that's the focus of performance claims, and Michelin promises 15% more grip 'on slippery surfaces' but 5% less resistance than the Pro4 Grip. Of course, this is neither here nor there if the Pro4 Grip was a pile of dingoes' kidneys, but back in 2014 our own David Arthur gave them a solid 4 star rating (read that review here).
Michelin puts down the grip performance of the All Season tyres to two factors: the tread compound, which it says works well even in low temperatures; and its 'progressive tyre voids'. I looked this up and it means the spaces between the tread blocks. In the case of the All Season, these take the form of some fine grooves running out toward the tyre edge.
But hold on, isn't it a myth that treads on road bike tyres have any effect at all? After all, as John Stephenson points out, you would have to be going at over 200mph to aquaplane a bicycle tyre, and squirmy treads can result in extra drag. Michelin's view is that the tread increases grip (ie, drag) at the tyre edge, effectively reducing the tyre's inclination to slide sideways – 'increasing your lateral grip', as it puts it.
So, you will want to know what I found out on the road, and in short, these tyres are beautiful things if, like me, you are mainly concerned with a secure, trouble-free, quick-but-not-race-pace, comfortable day out on the bike. In the dry, it soon became fun to swing through swoopy bends, knowing you were not going to run out of road before the tyre could rail you around. I spent progressively less time dragging the brakes approaching bends on descents, as I grew used to the pressure on the levers transferring efficiently to the road. I suppose that means less wheel rim wear too.
In the wet, there must be some loss of performance – it would defy physics if it were otherwise – but any loss of grip in braking must have been counterbalanced by a loss of braking force from the wet rims, because even on lanes running with rainwater I couldn't get the tyres to slide in a straight-line brake. I finally found their limits on a particularly nasty, narrow descent where tree cover had left a stripe of sodden leaf mould down the centre line. Crossing this into a left hander, the rear tyre at last stepped out of line. No harm was done.
The tyres feel supple and I found my favoured spot at around 95psi, which gave a cushioned, luxurious ride while still allowing me to spin along at what I fondly imagine to be a good pace.
At nearly 260g for the 25mm version (slightly less than officially claimed), these are hardly lightweight, but a lot of this is in the thick tread with its Aramid 'Protek +' protection layer. Over the test period I had no punctures and the tyres shrugged off some bad treatment, such as miles of freshly dressed country lanes that had gravel rattling off the down tube. If you want race performance, the range also offers the Competition at 215g for the same width.
In my view, the only time you should be noticing your tyres when you are out riding is when they are failing you in some way – a puncture, a loss of grip, a noisy tread or a leaden, draggy feel. So perhaps the best thing I can say about these is that I never really noticed them.
For people who just want to get on their bikes and ride, these tyres are a very good thing
road.cc test report
Make and model: Michelin Power All Season
Size tested: 700x25c
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
"For difficult riding conditions", says Michelin, which in the UK means "almost any time".
"Ride in total confidence thanks to the new Grip Compound. These special rubber compounds can function in low temperatures and thus increase your security on slippery, dirty, and humid surfaces.
"Hi-Grip Design lets you improve your lateral grip using progressive tyre tread voids."
Michelin also produces two other tyres in the range: the Competition for high performance, and the Endurance for, er, endurance.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
According to Michelin, the All Season offers 15% more grip in the wet, but 5 Watts less drag over its predecessor.
The tyre has an Aramid Protek+ puncture protection layer, a 3x60tpi casing and comes in 23mm, 25mm and 28mm widths.
As you would expect for a premium tyre, from a top manufacturer, quality was exemplary.
Just lovely, reassuring tyres to ride around on in all the conditions June could throw at me.
That grip has to come from somewhere and usually it's at the cost of tread wear resulting from a softer rubber compound. However, the puncture protection and general resilience of the tyre has shown to be very good over the – admittedly short – test period.
It's not really about the weight; if you want a lighter tyre in the same range, look for the Power Performance.
95psi had the bike cruising along as though it were on a cushion of air. Which, I suppose, it was.
£8 cheaper than its predecessor, the Michelin Pro 4. If the tread life turns out to be limited, it isn't too expensive to replace.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I don't like surprises or near-death moments on my bike and, believe me, I've had a few on the terrifying roads of the Durham Pennines – but not on these. I think people who like a fit-and-forget tyre will enjoy riding on these; for people who like it a bit sketchy, or who like to change their tyres with the weather, these might bore you with their reliability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Smooth, quiet ride.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Limited range of widths.
No tubeless option.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Michelin promised good grip and these delivered it. I can't vouch for the -5 Watts bit – my Strava times seem to have everything to do with wind direction and speed and not much to do with tyre choice – but a tyre that allows you to brake less and corner with confidence will be, by definition, quick over the long run. The ride quality is great, so is the build quality, and the price is good too.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking